UCSF has received highly regarded accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.
Considered the gold standard for animal care facilities, AAALAC accreditation is awarded to organizations exhibiting the highest standards for the humane care and use of animals in research.
AAALAC accreditation is voluntary and involves a comprehensive review by AAALAC evaluators, who are animal care and use professionals and researchers from around the globe.
The extensive assessment included all aspects of the UCSF animal care and use program, with a focus on the basic components of institutional policy, animal husbandry, veterinary care and the physical plant. The on-site evaluation by an AAALAC team ranged from observation of virtually all areas where animals go to review of internal UCSF reports about the program, among other details.
The honor is a renewal accreditation for UCSF, which received the AAALAC credential for three years when it was surveyed in 2004.
This ongoing institutional accreditation certifies that UCSF is conducting a top-notch animal research program because an AAALAC review is voluntary, unbiased, and not a requirement for conducting an animal research program, emphasizes Clifford Roberts, DVM, interim associate vice chancellor for research.
AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through its accreditation and assessment programs.
At present, more than 730 companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies and other research institutions in 30 countries have demonstrated their commitment to responsible animal care and use by volunteering for an AAALAC review.
Last year the new UCSF animal care facility, which is recognized for exceeding industry standards, was named Facility of the Year by the publishers of “Animal Lab News.”
“UCSF scientists are world class in their study of disease, and these two honors for the animal care program-AAALAC accreditation and the Facility of the Year award-demonstrate that this program also is second to none,” Roberts says.
Animal research has paved the way for many medical advances of the last century and continues to advance UCSF’s understanding of cancer, heart disease, chronic pain and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Like other AAALAC members, UCSF adheres to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as University of California policies, governing the use of animals in research. These include the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Research Council Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the USDA Animal Welfare Act Regulations regarding the care and use of animals in a research setting.
Information about the UCSF animal care and use program is available online at http://www.research.ucsf.edu/arc/index.asp